Animals grazing on rich pasture adds to the beauty of the Italian Alps. Livestock industry on the Italian Alps is structured by the season as the flock would have to be moved to higher pasture land from June till October and moved back again to graze on the Maremma plains until they have to be moved again to higher pasture. With this kind of setting, a breed of dog that will be the shepherds helper would be most necessary. The Maremma Sheepdog is the ultimate protector of livestock and the fierce enemy of wolves and other predators of sheep, cattle and goats.
This livestock guardian dog that is native to Abrazzo’s Apennine Mountain region is a heavily built dog with a thick double coat. Unlike other guarding dogs that have the inclination to wander, a Maremma Sheepdogs stays with the livestock at all times because its weatherproof coat serves as protection against all kinds of weather.
These working dogs are known to be independent minded. This highly intelligent breed would not wait for the command of the shepherd to address a situation that can be potentially dangerous to the animals it is protecting. The independent nature of the dog can be a cause for concern. Apart from being independent minded, Maremma Sheepdogs have a stubborn streak so that the commands of the owners to stop the dog from “protecting” its charges can fall on deaf ears.
A Maremma Sheepdog is a dependable livestock guardian. With a well honed guarding instinct, the dog would be happiest if allowed to work with its master in protecting the flock. In recent years, some of these dogs have stayed away from the pasture and developed the ability to do other tasks.
Utilized as home companions, Maremma Sheepdogs are now protecting the home and the human family. These days, Maremma Sheepdogs no longer roam the great outdoors as they are now established in temperature controlled homes. As mentioned Maremma Sheepdogs are independent minded dogs with a stubborn streak but in the hands of a knowledgeable and strong willed owner, this breed can be molded into a loyal, protective pet that will form a strong bond with all the members of its human family.